Friday, 29 July 2016

Clinton: showing how to beat reaction

They do say that, in politics, you shouldn’t build a campaign on nostalgia for the past, but on promise for the future.

It was the problem faced by John Major, British Tory Prime Minister after Maggie Thatcher, when he launched his “Back to Basics” campaign. Going “back” is never appealing. And there’s nothing particularly inspiring about “basics” either.

As a slogan, it had none of the spark of Tony Blair’s “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.” The truth is that once he was in power, Blair concentrated on being tough on crime and much less determined in rooting out the causes, but as a slogan, it certainly had appeal, helping position him to take on the Tories and win.

Hillary: wrong on some things, right on many others, turning
into quite a campaigner. And hugely to be preferred to the alternative
That all came back to me when I saw Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Because, faced with Donald Trump’s slogan, ‘Make America great again’, so easy as to be simplistic, she answered with words suggesting that America is great still.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.

We have the most tolerant and generous young people we've ever had.

We have the most powerful military, the most innovative entrepreneurs, the most enduring values, freedom and equality, justice and opportunity, we should be so proud that those words are associated with us.

Now, you can agree or disagree with the sentiment. You can’t question the impact. Trump is looking backwards, to a supposed time when America was great, just as Major hankered after days when, allegedly, we were back with basics. Clinton proclaims the greatness of America today. And because she believes in today, she can paint an appealing picture of tomorrow.

Democrats, we are the party of working people.

But we haven't done a good enough job showing we get what you're going through, and we're going to do something to help. So tonight I want to tell you how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States.

From my first day in office to my last, especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind, from our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian country to coal country from communities ravaged by addiction, to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

And here's what I believe. I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives. I believe our economy isn't working the way it should because our democracy isn't working the way it should.

Clinton’s not naïve though, or a newcomer to politics. While she wisely presented a positive, forward-looking programme, she also knew that it was no use being good and kind and decent in politics. To win supporters, you also have to beat the other guy. When that guy’s Trump, that’s all the more important than ever, but also a lot easier for the opportunities he gives you.

… don't believe anyone who says I alone can fix it.

Yes, those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us. Really? I alone can fix it? Isn't he forgetting troops on the front lines, police officers and firefighters who run toward danger, doctors and nurses who care for us, teachers who change lives, entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem, mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe? He's forgetting every last one of us.

Americans don't say "I alone can fix it." We say "we'll fix it together!"

And I particularly liked:

He spoke for 70-odd minutes, and I do mean odd...

That got a furious Twitter reaction from Trump. Rather confirming something else Hillary said:

A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons!

She was feisty, she was positive, she was forward-looking. She’s well ahead in the polls. She may not say all the things you, or I, would like but she has a message worth listening to. And boy, she's preferable to the alternative by light years.

Let’s hope she’s stays in front, right through to polling day and beyond.

And for us, back here in Britain, let’s hope we too can find a campaigner as effective as she is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Based on everything I've read I'd have to suggest that Clinton is possibly the most corrupt candidate ever to run for the presidency. I'm not American and don't have any particular interest in the election, it's just an observation.